GM to manufacture SUVs without wireless phone chargers due to chip shortage
General Motors will build some mid-size and full-size SUVs without the wireless phone charging feature.
This latest production adjustment, which begins this week, is the result of the global semiconductor chip shortage. GM wants to keep production moving and has chosen to build some in-demand vehicles without various parts just to get them to the dealerships.
GM’s wireless charging technology allows the driver or occupants of the vehicle to charge certain smartphones wirelessly.
“Customers whose vehicles are built without this feature will receive an associated MSRP credit of $ 75,” said GM spokesperson Kevin Kelly. “The Monroney tag will include this credit and indicate that the vehicle is not equipped with a wireless phone charger.”
Since the start of this year, the auto industry has had to either slow down assembly plants or build vehicles without all the parts and then park them while waiting for the chips to arrive. The result is relatively empty dealer lots and a rush to get as many vehicles built and shipped as possible when the parts arrive.
The chips, which are mainly made in Taiwan, are used in various electronic devices. They are in tight numbers after demand for them increased during the COVID-19 pandemic as people bought laptops and other personal electronics that also use them. Chips go into a variety of auto parts.
The wireless phone charging feature will no longer be available on the 2021 model year of these two SUVs built at the Arlington, Texas assembly plant:
- Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban full-size SUV
- GMC Yukon and Yukon XL full-size SUVs
Also on certain year 2022 models of the following vehicles:
- Cadillac XT5 midsize SUV built at Spring Hill Assembly, Tennessee
- Cadillac XT6 midsize SUV built at Spring Hill Assembly, Tennessee
- Mid-size Chevrolet Traverse SUV built at Lansing Delta Township Assembly
- Buick Enclave midsize SUV built at Lansing Delta Township Assembly
Kelly said that starting Monday, GM will stop including the feature on certain 2021 Tahoe and Suburban SUVs and GMC Yukon and Yukon XL. As of August 2, it will stop putting it on certain 2022 XT5, XT6, Traverse and Enclave SUVs.
No more cars without parts
This is not the first time that GM has built vehicles without certain technologies or parts.
In March, GM announced it would build some 2021 Lightweight full-size pickup trucks without fuel management module from Monday until the end of the model year at the end of summer. The result is that the affected vans will not achieve the best fuel economy performance.
In June, GM said some full-size SUVs and pickup trucks will not contain auto stop / start, the function that turns off the engine when a driver stops at an intersection and then automatically restarts the engine when the driver presses the accelerator. The fuel economy adjustment will vary by vehicle, but it is generally around 1 or 2 miles per gallon on the Environmental Protection Agency’s combined rating.
Take proactive action
GM has taken other steps to keep production running to meet demand.
As the Free Press first reported, in June GM began construction of four new vehicle stalls in the Fort Wayne Assembly body shop area, which had been empty for years. GM builds its full-size Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The additional booths will allow GM to complete production of the pickup trucks while waiting for chip parts when the parts arrive. GM needed the extra space because the finish area, where this work is usually done, was too remote.
In June, GM also said it was redirecting the chip parts it could get to its most demanded products.
“Our supply chain organization continues to make progress in working with our supply base to mitigate the short-term impacts of the semiconductor situation,” Kelly said in an email to The Free Press. “GM continues to take advantage of all available semiconductors to build and ship our most popular and in-demand products. However, the semiconductor situation continues to remain fluid globally.